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Thursday, 17th July 2014

UK: The Fourth Utility: Delivering Universal Broadband Connectivity for Small Businesses Across the UK

Source: Federation of Small Businesses (UK)

From Press Release:

(T)he Federation of Small businesses (FSB) is calling for Government to adopt much more ambitious targets for rolling out high speed broadband for businesses across the UK. With an estimated 45,000 firms still on dial up, and many more struggling with speeds lower than 2 Megabits per second (Mbps), it is clear that while the residential market may be seeing the benefits of high speed broadband, this is often not the case for the business community. The UK's forthcoming digital infrastructure strategy therefore needs to recognise this issue and put small businesses at the front and centre of future rollout plans, so that they can enjoy the benefits too.

Almost every (94%) small firm views a reliable internet connection as critical to the success of their business. The current Government targets of 24Mbps for 95 per cent of the population and 2Mbps for the remaining five per cent will not meet the future demands of UK businesses. For example, even in areas where households have high speed broadband, some businesses still struggle to send digital invoices, upload large files or even communicate with clients via the internet. The current targets will not allow for the UK's ‘digital by default' strategy or polices such as Real Time Information that rely on reliable broadband to be delivered successfully.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 338 KB)

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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